One of jazz's leading critics gives us an invigorating, richly detailed portrait of the artists and events that have shaped the music of our time. Grounded in authority and brimming with style, Playing Changes is the first book to take the measure of this exhilarating moment: it is a compelling argument for the resiliency of the art form and a rejoinder to any claims about its calcification or demise.
First published in 1952 and immediately hailed as a masterpiece, Invisible Man is one of those rare novels that have changed the shape of American literature. For not only does Ralph Ellison's nightmare journey across the racial divide tell unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators, it gives us an entirely new model of what a novel can be.
Examines the interconnected worlds of jazz and organized crime in 20th century America.
Dive into the celebrated life of Lady Day with this fully-illustrated graphic novel that tells the story of Billie Holiday's rapid--and, at times, grueling--rise to become one of the best musicians who ever lived. From her days as a young entertainer performing for small jazz clubs in Harlem, to headlining sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall, every trouble and triumph of Billie Holiday's bold, influential career is featured in this graphic novel from Fantoons. Throughout the book's 144 pages of dazzling color illustrations, readers will revisit Billie's peak years as she helped lead the transition from the Harlem Renaissance to the iconic Swing Era alongside some of the top names in jazz--including Artie Shaw, Lester Young, and Count Basie. Meanwhile, readers will learn the true history behind the making and recording of some of Billie's most-classic hits, like God Bless the Child, and Strange Fruit, the latter of which is considered to be the first protest song of the civil rights era. Widely recognized as one of the greatest jazz singers of all time, Billie's emotive voice, distinct phrasing, and flawless technique cemented her place as an American icon. Now, new and longtime fans alike have the opportunity to learn more about Lady Day's short but spectacular life. At a time when the country is struggling with issues involving identity and race, this graphic novel provides a timely look into the fascinating life of a fighter, survivor, and world-renowned artist.
Cesar and Nestor Castillo move to New York from Cuba in 1949 to form a mambo band, and eventually play on I Love Lucy.
In I Wonder as I Wander, Langston Hughes vividly recalls the most dramatic and intimate moments of his life in the turbulent 1930s. His wanderlust leads him to Cuba, Haiti, Russia, Soviet Central Asia, Japan, Spain (during its Civil War), through dictatorships, wars, revolutions. He meets and brings to life the famous and the humble, from Arthur Koestler to Emma, the Black Mammy of Moscow. It is the continuously amusing, wise revelation of an American writer journeying around the often strange and always exciting world he loves.
By the 1870s, the word was out about Colorado. East coast and Midwest prospectors, European immigrants, and African Americans newly freed from slavery, rushed to Denver to find work and their fortune in silver and gold. Captured here in almost 200 vintage images is the story of the African Americans who escaped the oppression and racism of the post Civil War South, and created a city within a city: the Five Points neighborhood of Denver. Named in 1881 for a bustling five-way intersection, the Five Points area became the commercial and social sector for African American churches, businesses, clubs, and homes, and the heart of Denver's black community. Showcased here are the photographs of once thriving Five Points businesses in the Welton Street business district, such as Otha Rice's Tap Room and Oven and the Rossonian Hotel, as well as the familiar faces of the Cosmopolitan Club, Madame CJ Walker, and Dr. Justina Ford, Denver's first African-American female doctor.
Luna--or depending on who's asking, Rose--is the white-passing daughter of an immigrant mother who has seen what happens to people from her culture. This world is prejudicial, and she must hide her identity in pursuit of owning an illegal jazz club. Using her cunning powers, Rose negotiates with dangerous criminals as she climbs up Kansas City's bootlegging ladder. Luna, however, runs the risk of losing everything if the crooked city councilmen and ruthless mobsters discover her ties to an immigrant boxcar community that secretly houses witches. Last thing she wants is to put her entire family in danger.
In Harlem, 1926, Joe Trace, a door-to-door salemsan in his fifties, kills his teenage lover. At the funeral, his wife Violet slashes the dead girl's face and then desperately searches to find why Joe was unfaithful. The profound love story is immersed in the sights and sounds of Black urban life during the Jazz Age.
Private detective Easy Rawlins looks for a gangster's girlfriend in 1940s L.A.
An illustrated exploration of how the expressionism and spontaneity of jazz spilled onto its album art, posters, and promotional photography, and even inspired standalone works of fine art.
Two dancers with different approaches to their craft share a complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, in a story that transitions from northwest London to West Africa.
A fun and fact-filled introduction to the dismissed Black art masters and models who shook up the world. Elegant. Refined. Exclusionary. Interrupted. The foundations of the fine art world are shaking. Beyoncé and Jay-Z break the internet by blending modern Black culture with fine art in their iconic music video filmed in the Louvre. Kehinde Wiley powerfully subverts European masterworks. Calls resonate for diversity in museums and the resignations of leaders of the old guard. It's clear that modern day museums can no longer exist without change--and without recognizing that Black people have been a part of the Western art world since its beginnings. Quietly held within museum and private collections around the world are hundreds of faces of Black men and women, many of their stories unknown. From paintings of majestic kings to a portrait of a young girl named Isabella in Amsterdam, these models lived diverse lives while helping shape the art world along the way. Then, after hundreds of years of Black faces cast as only the subject of the white gaze, a small group of trailblazing Black American painters and sculptors reached national and international fame, setting the stage for the flourishing of Black art in the 1920s and beyond. Captivating and informative, BLK ART is an essential work that elevates a globally dismissed legacy to its proper place in the mainstream art canon. From the hushed corridors of royal palaces to the bustling streets of 1920s Paris--this is Black history like never seen before.